I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
There has been a common theme running throughout the thoughts of my rather clouded brain lately. It seems that everywhere I turn I read, see, or hear about kindness and manners. So I wonder, is that a sign that I should write about it or am I thinking too hard? Either way, I thought I could take advantage of all of these “signs” and give it a whirl.
I have noticed lately within the parameters of my world that kindness and manners is in somewhat of short supply. One thing that I have noticed is that it seems that quite a few, not all, young people lack the kindness gene, or maybe they just prefer not to use it. Either way, it seems that kindness and manners for that matter are becoming a thing of the past. I even read a blog by a famous former child star that she refuses to teach her young sons to say please and thank you. She says that they will eventually learn it on their own and that making them say it takes away from the sincerity of it all. My response? Well personally I think that’s a bunch of “stuff” and hope that that is not the consensus of modern day parents.
While it is not my intention to “toot my own horn” I have to say that my children are quite polite. Now they may not always be polite toward me and while that is not acceptable, I am proud to say that they are polite to others. Recently my daughter was given a coffee upgrade and a free donut from the local coffee shop. She is a regular customer and when I asked her why they extended the kindness to her she said, “well, they like me. See, Mom, please and thank you goes a long way. It’s how you treat people that matters.” I replied with a “you are welcome” and she knew that I knew she was thankful that her dad and I taught her to be polite.
Why is it so difficult to teach manners these days? Why does it seem that politeness and kindness are less important than being right or getting our own point across? Technology allows us to conduct our daily business, work, socialize, order dinner, movie tickets, gifts and more without ever talking to a single human being. Could it be that the art of communicating has begun to fade into the past along with the phone call, written letter or social visit? I am afraid it has and with it goes manners, proper grammar and the ability to be kind to one another. Admitting that I am all part of the technology craze is an understatement. I am typing this on my laptop computer, checking my social network, listening to Kenny Chesney belt out how he is “better than a memory” on my ipad using the ipod feature and have sent three text messages to my children.
Is there a “fix” to this problem? I believe that there are plenty of opportunities for each of us to “fix” the issues within our own lives. Some might not agree that there is even a problem while others might not think it matters. However, if one wants to consider how they might contribute to the reconstruction of the institution of manners and kindness they do not have to look very far. There are countless opportunities to extend a bit of kindness and courtesy to those around us. Holding the door open for someone entering the building you are exiting, stopping by to visit an old friend or elderly person who is unable to get out, extending a helping hand to someone in need, writing a note or sending a card to an old friend; all of these are example of extending a little bit of kindness to those around us. I believe that we are all put on this earth for a purpose. My faith teaches me that part of my purpose is not only to serve my God, but serve others, love others and work for the common good of my neighbor. How wonderful would it be to know that at the end of the day you did something that benefited another human being and you did it because you wanted to not because you wanted something in return?
Children learn by example. If we live our lives in haste not taking time out to share our talents, our gifts, our time, ourselves, our children will grow up without knowing how to be polite and kind to others. Our world will continue to spin and within it will be a whole generation of people missing out on what I believe is essential to the survival of the human spirit; kindness and within kindness lies manners.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of famous quotes. I search for deep meaningful quotes quite often. I enjoy reading others perspectives on whatever topic I am researching. As I “shopped” for quotes this week on kindness, I came across a multitude of quotes from a multitude of authors. Mother Theresa “penned” some of my favorite. She says “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Another favorite Mother Theresa quote states “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
This week as you travel down your road of life, take a minute to reflect on the people in your life and how you can give just a bit of yourself to them. Knowing that you have the ability to affect another human beings life in a positive way is nothing short of amazing. As Leo Buscaglia states “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Now, I’m going to put this laptop away, turn off Kenny and the ipad and sit on the couch with my husband just because he wants me to.